the schmooze


Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

Marrying libraries to housing seems to be an innovative way to meet both needs. New York needs to find new ways of creating "mesik" (moderate) priced housing. Instead of tearing down an obsolete "bibliotek," we can replace it with a bigger and better library, and have apartments on top.

In a New York Times article by Janny Scott, we read that "Library redevelopment is one of several unorthodox approaches to producing low-priced housing. In Portland, Oregon, mixed-use development combines a county library, a restaurant and apartments. Bookmark Apartments and Cafe Uno created what is possibly the country's first joint venture between a public "bibliotek" and a private developer.

Imagine what type of conversation/ " kibitzing" would take place if apartments were built above a public library in Borough Park, Brooklyn or on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles.

.. "Have you read 'The Battle for Social Security: From FDR's Vision to Bush's Gamble'?"

"NISHT." (No.) President Bush wants to privatize Social Security. Instead of mailing seniors a check every month, the government will send a list of job openings at McDonald's."

. "I'm reading a book about 'drug recycling,' the practice of giving unused pills from deceased patients to other patients, as opposed to importing drugs from Canada."

"I know that fewer flushed drugs means cleaner waterways, but would you really want to take pills that obviously didn't work on someone else?"

.. "According to the 'vebzaytl', Bush wants it known that he is a man of letters. White House aides say the president has read 60 books so far this year."

"Sounds like a 'bobemayse'--a grandmother's tale."

. "I've just reserved a copy of 'Beat Web Casinos - The Shrewd Players Guide to Internet Gambling' by Bill Haywood.'"

"Vos iz di untershteh shureh"? (What is the point?) You simply click the mouse and you lose your house."

.. "I own the First Edition of''Diamonds Are Forever,' by Ian Fleming."

"And 'Jewry' is just two letters away from 'jewelry.'"

.. "I just finished reading Gil Mann's book-- with the cumbersome title--'How to Get More Out of Being Jewish Even If: A: You Are Not Sure If You Believe In God,
B: You Think Going to Synagogue is A Waste of Time
C: You Think Keeping Kosher is Stupid, or
D: All Of The Above.'"

"Genug iz genug! (Enough is enough!) How do you like this title: "How to go to work when your husband is against it, Your children aren't old enough, And there's nothing you can do anyhow"?

.. "Did you know that Judge Judy wrote a book titled, 'Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever'?"

"Yes. And the people who appear in her TV courtroom are 'shtik holtz' - dumb like a piece of wood."

.. "I've just read 'A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market' by John Allen Paulos."

"Very interesting. And the Talmud says, 'When prices drop, buy.'"

.. "The reference librarian suggested that I read Melville Shavelson's 1971 book, 'How To Make A Jewish Movie.'"

"And in the preface the author says... 'in Israel there are three sides to everything: Right, Wrong, and Aha!'" .. "The library is all out of the book 'Anatomy Of An Illness' by Norman Cousins, so I'm checking out the audio- tape."

"Gut! But remember that the best 'meditsin' is still chicken soup"

.. "Have you read Alan Flusser's book, 'Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion'?"

"Yes. And the Talmud says, 'In your community, your reputation matters. In a strange place, your clothing counts."

.. "Which book do you recommend: Dave Barry's Money Secrets - LIke Why Is There A Giant Eyeball On the Dollar" or Suzy Orman's book, 'The Money book for the young, fabulous & broke'?"

"Dave Barry's book. He's the guy who purchased a new 'tselular telefon' because it had Bluetooth, as well as both 'EDGE' and "GPRS'...and had no idea what these features actually are."

.. "Have you read '1,003 Great Things About Being Jewish'?"

"Yes. The three authors discussed the little-known Jewish holiday of ''Sham'outh'; Day on which you better call your mother or else.'

.. "I read BANNED BOOKS!'

"Shmen solstu zich in dein veiten haldz!" (You ought to be ashamed of yourself!)

.. "I'm reading 'Yiddish with George & Laura.'"

"Aroysgevorfen gelt." (Thrown-out money.)

.. "You might want to peruse Art Buchwald's book titled, 'Too Soon to Say Goodbye.'"

"I've read it. I loved how he strategizes how to land a big obituary in The New York Times: make sure no head of state or Nobel Prize winner dies on the same day."

.. "Did you read Sue Grafton's newest book, 'B is for Baleoste'?"

"Isn't it titled, 'B is for Bashert'?"

"Doesn't the custom of answering a question with a question mean you never need to know anything?

.. "Did you read the John Davis book, 'Not the SAT Test'?"

"Yes. Now I can solve this problem: A mame can complete a paint job in 5 days when she works alone. With the help of her teenager, the job can be completed in 3 days. How long would it take the teenager to do it alone?
A) 6 1/2 days
B) 7 days
C) 7 1/2 days
D) Until Spring Break

.. "The librarian recommended the Thomas Pynchon book titled, 'Against The Day.' Do you want to borrow it after I'm finished?"

"No! At 3 lbs. 6 ozs., the book weighs more than my laptop 'kompyuter.' I'll suffer a debilitating groin injury IF the book falls on my lap."

.. "I simply loved John O'Hurley's book, 'It's Okay to Miss the Bed on the First Jump.'"

"And get this: more people injure themselves from their beds than they do on trampolines. 91,870 yearly from trampolines."

"Of a mayse fregt men nit keyn kashes." (Don't interrupt with unnecessary details.)

.. "And in 22003, four Univ. of Buffalo students injured themselves falling or jumping out of bunk beds in the first month of school. In response, UB administrators are warning students to be careful when using the beds, and the school is ordering guardrails installed on all beds that don't already have them."

.. "My 'bukh club is reading Molly Katz's book, '101 Reasons to Dump Your Man and Get a Cat."

"I read it already and my favorite line: 'Cats don't have midlife crises and go out and buy motorcycles."

"She forgot to mention that they then join the 'Chai Riders Motorcycle Club."

.. "The library has three copies of Bill Corbin's book, 'Your Second Mattress Will Last Forever."

"Yes, I know. And I, too, have faced The Battle of Honey-Do Hill: 'Men, be aware that your wife may resort to the publicly-posted Honey-Do list in an attempt to organize your weekend. Of course, everyone knows that only two percent of men actually enjoy doing household chores. This translates to only 2 men in every 1,000. However, if your experience is like mine, all 20 of these guys will live on YOUR STREET. They can really make a guy look bad..'"

.. "Do you want to borrow my copy of 'The Joy of Sex'?"

"No thanks. I have a 'kopveytik' (headache)."

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Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

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